Could your cause of migraine headache be from a vitamin or mineral deficiency? Low magnesium has been the culprit for many of us. There is a lot of hype around at the moment about B12 deficiency. I am currently testing it out, so I will keep you posted.
Do you know your cause of migraine headaches? If not, you are not alone.
If you are one of the 45 million plus headache sufferers out there in the United States, Australia, Europe and the United Kingdom, China, Asia …
(the numbers are staggering)
that don't know the cause of migraine headache, then consider these options to reduce the frequency or intensity of those headaches.
I just watched one of my favorite nutritionists Christa Orecchio on The Doctors TV program and she brought up some really interesting points around headaches, food and deficiency.
I believe so strongly that food is medicine and Christa supplied a few additional pointers that I feel are really important.
A number of clinical studies support the use of magnesium in the treatment of migraines.
Magnesium gets used up with stress. Perhaps that is why "10 million of the 45 million” migraine sufferers get deficient in the first place. I think it’s a bit like the chicken and the egg, as the migraines themselves are stressful so it becomes a vicious cycle.
You can get magnesium through food. Eat lots of these to get your daily dose:
• Leafy greens, like cooked Spinach and Swiss chard (cook to absorb more of the magnesium)
• Sweet potatoes
• Sesame seeds
• Sunflower seeds
• Pumpkin seeds
• Buckwheat flour and Bulgar being the highest sources
• Brown rice
• Black beans
I choose to take this magnesium supplement. I have also had intravenous magnesium pushes for 18 months to help bring my levels back to normal.
Treat Food Sensitivities. A main cause of migraine headaches can be due to food sensitivities and allergies. So, it is important to get tested and avoid these foods.
Most doctors will recommend doing a food elimination diet through your local hospital, with a dietitian. There are other options.
The dietitian at the hospital gave me a little booklet of instructions and told me to keep a food diary. It took me over four years to go through this method. She never talked about different combinations of food and I could only see her twice a year.
Christa says that eggs and gluten are the most common foods that she has found to cause headaches in certain individuals.
She removes these from the diet and gets good results.
Well, better than good - their migraines go away!
But please be aware, eggs and gluten would be the cause of migraine headache only for those sensitive to it.
Eliminating them completely would help you determine this.
Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin is a well known natural remedy for migraines.
“Deficiency is connected to 50% of migraines.” Christa Orecchio
I took Riboflavin for 18 months until my fingers turned yellow, and it had no effect on my migraines. That is not to say it will not work for you. It is so worth experimenting with because it has helped so many other sufferers.
Christa says to eat these foods to increase your vitamin B2:
• Crimini Mushrooms – all mushrooms do not hold the same nutritional value. So make sure you look for Crimini mushrooms.
• Quinoa – top tip - soak it for one to three hours before you cook it you will get more bio-available B2 out of it.
I'd like to add that Beef liver (2.9 mg in 3 oz) and lamb (3.9 mg in 3 oz) also provide a good source of B2.
If you have headaches from dehydration, you can fix them in fifteen minutes! Here’s how:
Drink lots of mineralized water as soon as you feel the migraine coming on. The general rule is to drink 1 liter of water or 34 ounces for every 50 pounds (22.67 kilograms) of body weight. This is filtered water to be sipped on through the day.
But the recommendation here is mineralized water. You can drink up to a liter at the sign of an attack, and see how that feels.
You can add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if you want to support your liver and help flush out toxins. I find if I do this it actually brings on a migraine, so I have experimented with grape fruit juice, and lime juice instead. They don't cause a reaction for me.
Dandelion root tea is another good liver detoxifier and can replace other teas for a regular cuppa. But I also trigger with this - so experiment with these things to find what works for you.
My doctor recommends coconut water which replaces electrolytes almost instantly. But I find it a bit sweet, so I just mix it with water.
Water infused with fresh strawberries and slices of cucumber make it really refreshing and re-hydrating.
Leave the strawberries, cucumber and mint in the filtered water or mineral water over night and add to coconut water when you are ready to drink it. Let the flavors infuse into the water.
These are all simple ways to help prevent an attack when you feel it coming on.
• ginger is known to help minimize the causes of migraine headache (be proactive)
• Use ice packs as soon as possible because they work best for aborting migraine attacks
• Do the elimination diet, this is the first plan of attack your doctor will most likely recommend.
Until next time, be well and be pain free.